“Ohio State confirmed the surgery through a school spokesman on Tuesday. The program lists [Austin] Mack as out indefinitely following the procedure on his left foot.”
When it rains, it pours. As if the 49-20 beatdown suffered at the hands of Purdue last Saturday wasn’t enough, Ohio State got some more bad news. Wide receiver Austin Mack underwent foot surgery after an injury against the Boilermakers, and is now likely to miss the rest of the season recovering and rehabbing. The expected amount of time to recover is six to eight weeks, so while a return for the postseason play isn’t out of the question, it is slightly unlikely he’ll make a return.
While the majority of Ohio State has been inconsistent, the play of quarterback Dwayne Haskins and the wide receivers has been a go-to. Haskins threw 73 times against Purdue, and 49 of those were completions. With Mack out, that just takes one more option away from Haskins when throwing the ball.
“For the first time since 2007, the Buckeyes will not play under the lights in Ohio Stadium. That was confirmed with Monday’s announcement that the Nebraska game on Nov. 3 will kick off at noon.”
You might have noticed something different about Ohio State’s schedule as they announced the noon kickoff against Nebraska this Saturday. The distinct lack of night games in Columbus comes as a bit of a surprise initially, but when you consider the options, perhaps its for the best. After all, TCU was a neutral site game, and most of the big games are on the road (Penn State, Michigan State) or are stuck on tradition (Michigan at noon). Still, it seems odd given that Urban Meyer has said in the past that the Buckeyes wanted more night games at home that Ohio State didn’t have any this season.
The rest of the season at home includes Nebraska and Michigan at home, with Michigan State and Maryland away. The Cornhuskers were the last real chance at playing a night game but considering their 1-7 record, that was unlikely even before the announcement of the noon start. Before that, the Buckeyes hosted Minnesota, Indiana, Tulane, and Rutgers. None of those really have a night game vibe, so the schedule just didn’t work out for Ohio State this season.
“Maybe it’s not the most likely outcome, but Ohio State-Purdue, Vol. II certainly can’t be ruled out at this point as the matchup that settles the Big Ten championship.”
Despite their shaky start to the season, Purdue has really come on in the last few weeks. A big win over Boston College and now Ohio State has the Boilermakers in an interesting spot. Winners of four straight, Purdue sits at 4-3 including wins over ranked opponents, and a conference record of 3-1. Their only Big Ten loss came in the first game of the season, a close game against Northwestern. So in theory, Jeff Brohm’s team could be contending for a spot in the Big Ten championship when it’s all said and done.
And while it’s not likely, with the way they played against Ohio State, it’s not exactly out of the realm of possibility, either. Purdue doesn’t have it any easier over the next couple of weeks, however. Michigan State and Iowa are their next two opponents, and the Boilermakers finish with Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Indiana. Two of those five should be relatively winnable, while the Spartans, Hawkeyes and Badgers will provide the toughest test.
The Buckeyes still have work to do to make the Big Ten championship as well, with games against the Spartans and Michigan still looming. But it’s not out of the question to suggest a potential rematch in the Big Ten championship game between Purdue and Ohio State.